Peer Review violation

Published by the National Science Foundation, Office of Inspector General on 2014-11-28.

Below is a raw (and likely hideous) rendition of the original report. (PDF)

                                                       NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION
                                                        OFFICE OF INSPECTOR GENERAL
                                                          OFFICE OF INVESTIGATIONS

                                               CLOSEOUT MEMORANDUM

Case Number: A14090045                                                                         Page 1 of 1

                The NSF program office notified us of an alleged breach of confidentiality of a panel
         reviewing the progress of a large cooperative agreement. 1 Interested parties likely to be affected by
         the recommendations of the panel contacted the program office in short order suggesting inside
         information had been passed to them.

                 In addition to the panelists and NSF staff present during the review, members of the awardee
         institution management team were present for some of the presentations and discussions. The panel
         and NSF staff also met without the institutional staff in closed sessions. The information allegedly
         leaked was presented in an open session and had been the subject of rumor before the panel
         presentation. Although the majority of attendees were physically present, some attended virtually by
         video or audio conference with no absolute means to confirm whether additional people were
         present. Furthermore, access to the presentation slides was open to all attendees via a shared account
         and password. Given the large number of attendees and the possibility of unidentifiable observers it
         is unlikely that a breach and the source responsible can be demonstrated sufficiently to support a
         recommended action.

                   Accordingly, this case is closed.

NSF OIG Form 2 (11102)